About the Potomac Index

The 2001 Potomac Index is a joint project of the Potomac Conference and a research team led by the Brookings Greater Washington Research Program. It is designed to help citizens and leaders of the Washington metropolitan area understand how the region is changing and to measure the region’s progress on key economic, social, and environmental issues.

The Index is organized around five priorities identified as critical to the region’s success by participants in the Potomac Conference, a forum of area business, government and nonprofit leaders. These five priorities are: innovation, inclusion, education, quality of life, and regional thinking.

The 2001 Potomac Index confirmed that the region has a strong economy well positioned for future growth, a highly educated population and range of vigorous educational, philanthropic and nonprofit activity. It showed strong gains for minorities in homeownership, business ownership and Internet access, as well as improved high school dropout rates and plans for college attendance among District of Columbia public school students.

However, the Index raised cautionary flags about the shortage of affordable housing, poor water quality in the Anacostia River, and persistent traffic congestion and air pollution.

The region’s capacity to address such shared problems is complicated by the multiplicity of jurisdictions, the Index said. But Index surveys showed that residents feel part of the region and are willing to take a regional approach to mutual problems.

Contributors to the 2001 Potomac Index
Patricia S. Atkins
George Washington University

Gregory C. Goodwin
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

Stephen S. Fuller
George Mason University

Keith Haller
Potomac Inc.

Steven R. Raabe
Potomac Inc.

David Robertson
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

Margery Austin Turner
Urban Institute

Hal Wolman
George Washington University

Alice M. Rivlin
Brookings Greater Washington Research Program

Philip M. Dearborn
Brookings Greater Washington Research Program

Martha Ross
Brookings Greater Washington Research Program

Supplemental Information
Lack of space prevented us from including these graphics in the hard copy of the report. These maps accompany the indicator “Racial/Ethnic Diversity” on page 16.

Greater Washington Region
2000 Census Tract Maps by Race/Ethnicity








Advisors to the 2001 Potomac Index
Siobhan Canty
Greater DC Cares
Patricia A. McGuire
Trinity College
Michael A. Daniels
Dr. C.D. “Dan” Mote, Jr.
University of Maryland – College Park
Hon. Katherine K. Hanley
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
Robert A. Peck
The Greater Washington Board of Trade
M. Charito Kruvant
Creative Associates International, Inc.
Julie L. Rogers
The Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
James F. Lafond
Pricewaterhousecoopers LLP
George Vradenburg
AOL Time Warner
Alan G. Merten
George Mason University